A lover of culture, music, and a healthful lifestyle, Ashley Blake is applying her interests as a UT Media Studies MA student and as an active Austin community business member. Ashley graduated from Oregon State University in 2006 with a BS in New Media Communications and a BA in International Studies, with minors in Spanish and Music and spent study abroad time in Spain and Costa Rica. She then worked in concert production in Oregon and in the international travel industry directing tours to events including festivals in Spain and Germany as well as the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics. Ashley moved to Austin in 2008 and fell in love city's active, upbeat lifestyle and admired the vibrancy UT contributes to the area. She started her graduate studies fall 2011 and is interested in media and development, identity studies, alternative media, and international studies. Ashley spent summer 2012 in Salvador, Brazil to study Portuguese and pursue research on her Masters project on music for social change. Aside from her studies, Ashley is a co-owner of a local gluten free flour company, Bona Dea, providing baking mixes for retail and restaurant outlets to expand cuisine options for those with food sensitivities. When not studying or working, Ashley can be found running along Town Lake, biking around the city, or enjoying a hike in the Greenbelt.
Paulo Freire was a Brazilian author born in the 1920s who sought to fight poverty through literacy, empowering the rural poor in teacher-as-learner philosophy and revolutionizing the approach to education in Brazil and many other countries around the world.